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  • Hello you. I'm a 38-year old MSc student, studying Advanced Computer Science at Sussex University. I'm especially interested in Internet and mobile software, sensors and pervasive computing, user interfaces, and the process of developing great software.

    Before that I spent 11 years running Future Platforms, a software company I co-founded which makes lovely things for mobile phones, and which I sold in 2011.

    I read a lot, write here, and practice Aikido and airsoft. I live in Brighton, a seaside town on the south coast of the UK, with two cats and a clown.


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January 22, 2005


Dave Ph


I've not read the book. In fact I've not read anything on AI in years.

But I have read every issue of New Scientist from cover to cover for the last four years. And I'm sure I would have remembered if somewhere in there there had been a 'Basis of Consciousness Discovered!' article. Because I'm thinking that to develop Artificial Intelligence, you kind of need to know haw 'natural' intelligence works.

Otherwise, how would you know you have created it?

Maybe I'm doing Hawkins a disservice. But I'm scared by the amazing amount of pop-sci 'how your brain works' which swiftly leads to 'and then you scan in the state of each neuron and upload it to the computer - you don't even notice the transition...' type transhumanist b****x. I gather Hawkins doesn't mention the singularity. Maybe he's on the side of good after all...

Tom Hume

One of the things he covers in some depth in his book is some theories on how the brain works - which are what he's looking to model.

He doesn't claim to have all the answers, and at one point declares that some of what he's put down is certainly wrong - but it's a theory I'd not come across before, and there are a few testable predictions in a later chapter, which he offers to prove or disprove his theories.

Want to borrow it? It'll at least mean you can reject his theories from a slightly firmer foundation than "I didn't see it in The New Scientist so it can't be right" - and I think I owe you a book ;)

In the meantime I'm going to shove this down the throats of someone who's had recent contact with the field; I'll post here when I get some feedback from them...

Dave Ph

I'd love to read it, but I now have over a metre of books on my pile... Maybe one day next year :-(


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